Former Loretto Hall

William Swekosky, Former Loretto Academy Building, Northeast Corner Jefferson and Pine, 1959, Missouri History Museum, N02722

The Sisters of Loretto have a long history in St. Louis. A previous location was down on Jefferson and Pine on land donated Anne Lucas Hunt in 1869 with the building completed in 1874. Later they moved out to the northwest corner of Lafayette and Louisiana avenues into what looks like a large mansion already viewable in 1876’s Pictorial St. Louis formerly owned by Gen. John McNeil, labeled No. 20.

Detail of Plate 67, Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis, 1876, Library of Congress.

While they moved some of their operations out to Webster Groves, where Webster University and Nerinx Hall are their legacy, they still maintained a convent in this large building, which according to property records they continued to own into the late Twentieth Century. A few years ago the Sisters sold their new convent building to Nerinx.

It served as low-income housing for a bit before being sold to the Dominicans, who now operate a novitiate in the building. You can even spot some of the Dominicans walking down Lafayette or at the bus stop on South Grand occasionally.

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